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W/Cup: Kane goals key if England are to challenge again

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If there is one thing England Manager Gareth Southgate would have to see with few days to the world Cup, it is injury to his Captain and goal machine Harry Kane.

Whatever combination of players Southgate selects elsewhere in his team, the one constant is that the 29-year-old Kane can be relied upon to put the ball in the back of the net.

Kane scored 80 seconds after coming on as a substitute against Lithuania on his England debut in 2015 and has 51 goals from 75 appearances for his country – a ratio that puts him firmly in the ‘world class’ category.

He won the FIFA Golden Boot award in his first World Cup tournament in 2018, bagging six goals as England progressed to the semi-finals before losing to Croatia.

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After a slow start he also bagged four goals at the delayed Euro 2020 tournament as England went even closer, reaching a Wembley final against Italy and losing on penalties.

Kane’s ability to link play as well as score goals of all sorts has been well-documented at Tottenham Hotspur where he has been ripping up records and is on course to surpass Alan Shearer’s Premier League mark of 260 goals.

Shearer did not claim the collection of silverware his goals deserved but did manage a Premier League title with Blackburn Rovers, which is where he differs from Kane.

Kane has had some near misses with Tottenham, with a couple of close title runs under Mauricio Pochettino, a Champions League runner-up medal and two League Cup runners-up medals.

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He appeared close to a move to Manchester City in 2021 which would have almost guaranteed the Londoner some tangible reward for his goals return.

If Kane fills his boots in Qatar and gets at least the three goals he needs to replace Wayne Rooney as his country’s all-time top scorer he just might just land the biggest prize of all.

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